Tag Archives: success

Some of the earliest adopters of virtual assistants were speakers and authors, business coaches, real estate professionals, and entrepreneurs just starting their businesses. Those groups of people still work with VAs, but today industry seems to matter less. Virtual assistants are very popular with entrepreneurs and small business owners across many sectors.

At Assistant Match, we have clients ranging from bestselling authors to doctors to IT companies to consulting firms to non profits. We have provided virtual assistants to manufacturing companies as well as dog walkers.

Regardless of industry, most people who work with a VA have a few things in common.

  1. They need additional help in their business but do not need a full time employee.
  2. They are comfortable with the idea that they may never meet their assistant face to face.
  3. They are more interested in results than the traditional way of structuring a work team.

It’s wonderful when someone comes to a virtual assistant fully comfortable with the 3 points above. That isn’t always the case, so don’t hesitate to have the conversation that will help flesh those out. Some clients love a VA who can help educate them on how to work together and how s/he can best be of service.

Working with a virtual assistant or a virtual team of assistants can be a win/win for both the business owner, who can outsource specific tasks and increase their own productivity, and the professional virtual assistant who has the expertise and time to do exactly what you need help with.

It’s usually fairly simple to start working with a virtual team member. In most cases, phone and email will get the working relationship started. For some people, phone calls and emails suffice if you don’t have complex requests. Examples are when you need a VA to do research, make phone calls on your behalf, format documents, or update spreadsheets. Normally documents can be emailed back and forth and conversations can happen by phone or email.

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Do – Delegate – Delete

Anyone who has taken part in one of my workshops knows I talk about the 3 Ds. A productive person employs them consistently, and the 3 Ds allow them to effectively move toward their goals each day.

The powerful Ds are: Do, Delegate & Delete

When a new opportunity or request arises for you, see which of the 3 Ds make most sense.

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In the last year there have been quite a few magazine articles and blog posts about Power Poses. The idea is certain poses make us feel more powerful and therefore we present ourselves and act in ways that yield higher success rates. After sitting or standing in power poses for just two minutes, studies show that we have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. What that means is we are more willing to take risks and we will perform better in stressful situations.

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“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

–Theodore Roosevelt

The most successful people have a talented team supporting them. Think of any entrepreneur who is growing their business, making a healthy profit, and has any sort of balance outside of work. That individual has at least one person assisting them.

We are all told to delegate, but most people fail in this area. It may not be a miserable, walls come crashing down sort of fail, but a fail none the less. Maybe the items you delegated are not coming back the way you want them so you end up spending time revising work you thought you got rid of. Perhaps the person who is supposed to be helping you doesn’t get things done as quickly as you would like or to the level you hoped.

All common challenges with busy professionals, and all fixable. Assuming the person is qualified to do the work, one of the top missteps people make when delegating work to someone is in the request.

Make me a sandwich…
For instance, if you were to tell someone to make a sandwich, how many end results could you have?! PB&J on white bread, turkey and swiss with lettuce and tomato on a french roll, tuna salad with pickles on rye … this list could go on and on. If you really don’t care what sort of sandwich you get, there is no problem with this, but if you hate mustard or have a vision of what you want the end result to be, you must communicate that.

I have seen clients ask a virtual assistant to create a template for their email newsletters. They say something like “use green and blue, and make it look clean”. More often than not, a person who makes this request really does have an idea in their mind of how the template should look, and when the template comes back different than that idea, they get frustrated.

So how can you fix this?
Be specific in describing your desired outcome.
The same client could have said:

  • Match the blue and green tones that are one my website.
  • Here are two examples of email templates that look “clean” to me – I like the curved edges and the two column formats. I also like that there is an image for each section and article.
  • Here is an example of what I do not like and here are the reasons why…”

Next time you delegate, take a few minutes to prepare and then follow these 5 steps.

  • Communicate your desired outcome as clearly as possible
  • Give specific instructions, details, examples or resources the person needs to succeed
  • Check for understanding from the other person and/or allow her to ask clarifying questions
  • If time is an issues, provide your requested due date or ask how much time the person thinks it will take to complete the project
  • If possible, start with small projects and give feedback so that you become more comfortable communicating clearly and your support person gets accustomed to your style and requests.

Follow those five steps and chances are the added detail in your request will save you from frustration and revisions in the future. Delegating gets easier with practice, and can become quite effortless and fun!

Do you perform any of these when you could be doing revenue producing activities instead?
These are some of the things most commonly delegated to a virtual assistant.

Organization and Maintenance

  • Schedule appointments and manage calendars
  • Enter/scan business card information into contacts database
  • Data entry
  • Create and manage online storage/collaboration space
  • Scan documents for electronic filing
  • Create and manage spreadsheets
  • Set up and manage databases
  • Create forms
  • Format documents
  • Organize email folders
  • Track expenses
  • Track inventory
  • Update rosters
  • Organize receipts
  • Set up and sync online calendars
  • Maintain process and procedure manuals
  • Conduct online research projects
  • Bookkeeping


  • Project coordination and management
  • Meeting/event planning and logistics
  • Trade show coordination
  • Coordination of printing and ordering materials
  • Coordination of speaking engagement details
  • Schedule appointments
  • Handle complaints or billing disputes

Marketing and Growth

  • Create email marketing template
  • Create autoresponders
  • Website updates
  • Create and distribute e-newsletters or print newsletters
  • Create and distribute press releases
  • Create and revise PowerPoint presentations
  • Compile charts and graphs for reports
  • Online article publishing
  • Create or revise marketing materials
  • Create and manage social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.)
  • Update blog
  • Identify other blogs on which to comment
  • Proofread, edit and write articles
  • Implement online marketing plans
  • Identify potential partners, events, speaking engagements, etc.

Customer Service and Relationship Building

  • Draft/send email or print correspondence
  • Address, hand-write, and send cards (holiday, birthday, thank you)
  • Place phone calls on your behalf
  • Send gifts
  • Create and send email newsletters
  • Address all incoming requests and questions for the company
  • Request and provide information to customers and partners
  • Conduct client satisfaction surveys
  • Connect with people via social media accounts

Sales Assistance

  • Send materials to sales prospects
  • Schedule appointments and follow up calls
  • Enter contacts and record meeting notes in CRM
  • Format, send, and track proposals
  • Format, send, and track contracts
  • Research leads and competitors
  • Call companies to identify the appropriate contact
  • Create, send, and track invoices
  • Process payments
  • Coordinate shipping logistics for products

Personal Assistance

  • Travel research and reservations
  • Online research
  • Shop/reserve products online
  • Research products and services
  • Make dinner reservations
  • Purchase gifts and cards
  • Online grocery shopping
  • Coordinate carpool duties

To be as productive as possible, identify items you are currently doing that are not the best use of your time, and delegate them to the appropriate people.

To find the right virtual assistant to help you with some of the items above, contact Assistant Match at info@assistantmatch.com or 800-403-5506, or start the process online at assistantmatch.com.